house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Lohifushi, the Maldives, Summer 2005

Birds wake us. Alarm clocks sleep on. Oh no! We jump out of bed and dash here and there and towels fly and odd socks, and flippers and masks hide behind a door and the toast is burned and we stuff too many clothes and books into bags too small. The boat goes in five.

We run through sand, dry shells and fallen coconuts – lumpy heavy bags hit our thighs, the kids run barefoot behind us. Close to the jetty, we see the dhoni-man untying the rope, whistling as the boat begins to roll away and you shout NO! And WAIT!, you say.

And he waits. Oh, phew. We collapse bedraggled, ecstatic, on deck. Not that our little comic chase, all that drama and climax, now our joy, make any ripple on this 'bus':

Who cares? We're going to Lohi's.

The island appears and WHAM we pass through a veil, we unknow the world and we are children again.

We catch the late breakfast and eat a mountain of oranges.

You catch all the waves the ocean throws at you in play.

Cheeta, no taller than your ribcage but already strong and brave and burning as high as your biggest dream, dives in with you.

I catch your eye and your eye throws blue anchors into my heart. You're happy, and I'm new. The day's long, not a cloud, and we play.

I slip into the water too. Green, gold, gray. 'Look beneath the surface' – I say. Kira looks. We swim to the edge, where the coral shelf ends and another world begins. Manta rays float dreamily by, I wonder vaguely where, and why, and how the day unfolds inside the journey of a manta ray, and sometimes also ask myself what we might be to them and how a manta ray, a reef shark or any fish, this very sea, sees you and me.

It wakes me in the morning, it calls again, this sea. It whispers and stretches salty fingertips across the sand. Aaah-hwaaa-hwee and again aah-hwaa-hwee.

I look for slippers and find instead that Kira, now four years old and feisty as a flame, is not in her bed. Not in this room, not in the bathroom, not in a cupboard, not behind the TV, not on the veranda, oh Lord, NOT HERE.

Forget the slippers. I run across the cold sand, towards the sea. And this is where, in her cherry nightdress, smiling and smelling of fresh dreams and seaweed, is she.


At 29 June 2012 at 10:44 , Anonymous Marina Sofia said...

Your very own little mermaid, bless her! Sounds like the ideal holiday. Hope you get another one like it soon.

At 30 June 2012 at 14:24 , Blogger monamurr said...

We spent almost every weekend there for a year. How lucky is that???


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